Archive for Politics

We're Taking a Vacation!

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Hi, everyone! We will be on vacation - the first in a long while! - for the next few weeks. See you on the other side!

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The Book Booth: The Uprising Edition

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BookBoothWhiteRoseGermanyResistw292h204Image: White Rose Documents

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Uprising Edition

It has been a stupefying two weeks and somehow we're still here. It has been encouraging in many ways that we've had protests on two consecutive weekends and resistance is growing. Keep up the good work folks!

George Orwell's 1984 remains on the best seller lists. In fact, the classic has now hit number one for paperback sales.
'1984' now at #1

And Michiko Kakutani argues at the New York Times why this should be. We live in the world now of "alternate facts" and where two plus two equals five.
Michiko Kakutani Tells Us Why

On the other hand, Josephine Livingstone at the New Republic argues differently. She suggest the text we actually should be looking at is Franz Kafka's The Trial.
Kafka for the Trump Era

If one needs some inspiration from the past, Dwyer Murphy has some suggestions at LitHub of memoirs from people as disparate as Huey Newton to Daniel Berrigan and take some heart that others have suffered and rebelled.
Memoirs from Others Who Have Suffered and Rebelled

I'm sure many of us have been fascinated with the BBC updating of Sherlock Holmes. I've also been enjoying the series Ripper Street, that excellent series dealing with crime in late 19th century London, specifically Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper once roamed. Oliver Harris at the Strand Magazine has some suggestions for other mysteries located there for your reading pleasure.
Crime Mysteries Set in London

If Westerns are more to your taste, Andrew Hilleman, author of the recently published novel, World, Chase Me Down, has chosen his top ten neglected titles in the genre. His suggestions include some work that does transcend genre and well worth reading.
Top 10 Westerns to Get to Know

This past Thursday marked the anniversary of both James Joyce's birthday and the publication of his magnum opus, Ulysses. Here Adam Thirwell reviews the new literary history The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyces' Ulysses for the New York Review of Books. He details why the book is still scandalous, and subversive.
Scandalous and Subversive Still: Ulysses

And speaking of anniversaries, on January 29th 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven first saw print. Alison Natasi at Flavorwire has assembled many of the dust jackets that have accompanied the book over many years.
The Raven Covers Through the Years

For those of us who like to see novelistic art transformed into a different medium, check out artist Nicholas Rougeux's poster art of words turned into constellations. Flavorwire has some examples here.
When You Wish Upon a Star: Words Turned Into Constellations

Are you a compulsive book buyer? You certainly wouldn't be alone in your obsession. The Guardian's Lorraine Berry examines the phenomenon here. There are worse things to be OCD about.
You're Walking Along a Street...You See a Book You Just Have to Buy...Why?

We do need to remember that resistance to evil regimes is a necessary historical constant. During World War II, there was a group of young German dissidents, the White Rose, which was ultimately ruthlessly wiped out, but offers us hope that we, too, can make our voices heard. Here is a link to some of their leaflets.
Resistance to Hitler: The White Rose

Keep in mind, reading can be a subversive act, an act of rebellion. So keep at it and let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend. And for a little background music, enjoy Muse's song Uprising. You'll be glad you did.

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The Book Booth: Mermaid Avenue Edition

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Image: TLS

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Mermaid Avenue Edition

When we elect a most unimaginative man to be President of the United States, we can expect he has no use for the arts and humanities. So, along with the expected cuts to the budgets of NPR and PBS, it should not come as any surprise that he'd end funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities. Because, you know, who needs culture? Not real Americans.

Trump's Craziness and Boorishness for All to See

And so begins the resistance to the insanity and the inanity of this man and his minions. It was wonderful to see the Women's marches this past week, not only in DC but throughout the world. It was particularly pleasing that many of the signs and posters featured literary figures, including the late poet Audre Lorde and Virginia Woolf.

Literary Figures for #TheResistance in DC

Tim Keane at Hypeallergic wondered what the French novelist and playwright Jean Genet would have made of the current situation and suggest is very well might be the same as he saw America back in the late sixties and seventies.
What Jean Genet Would Have Thought About the World Today

And what should we be reading in times like these? The Guardian asked nine experts in their fields, including Alain de Botton and Steven Pinker to suggest some essential books in areas such as philosophy, film and economics to help guide us.
Reading to Guide Our Thoughts In the Era of New Craziness

On the anniversary, the 208th to be exact, of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, this years nominees for the Edgar Awards were announced. There are a lot of names that are new to me and I look forward to checking them out.
Happy Birthday, Edgar!

Those pesky librarians got together again and chose the winners of their annual awards in children's literature, the Newberry and the Caldecott awards, and other prestigious mentions. You can see the full list of winners here.
The Caldecott and Newberry Awards by My Heroes: Librarians!

Just when you'd think that the Mark Twain estate was exhausted, it seems that an unfinished fairy tale that had its origins in a bedtime story he told his daughters has now surfaced. Sometime soon we'll be seeing an illustrated edition of his tale The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine at you local independent bookstore. And how could it go wrong when your protagonist is named Oleomargarine?
A New, Illustrated Edition of a Mark Twain Children's Story!

The octopus has recently become a source of inspiration for those writing natural history. Several very interesting books have been published over the past few years and there is now a new one, Other Minds, written by Peter Godfrey-Smith, that delves into the mysteries of everyone's favorite cephalopod. Here Godfrey-Smith discusses his book for Works in Progress.
Octopuses's Secrets About to Be Revealed!

I love the BBC reboot of Sherlock Holmes and I devoured the fourth season these past weeks. Sherlock has certainly achieved a resurgence this past decade and it has been fun to watch. But did you ever wonder how Conan Doyle came up with the character's name? Michael Sims at LitHub has some answers to this question and the early background to the stories here.
Sleuthing the Source of a Sleuth's Name

Last week I posted the video to The House I Live In as sung by Paul Robeson. This week I want to share another song about where the American heart truly resides, in its people. So here is the Klezmatic's take on the Woody Guthrie lyric of Mermaid Avenue, from their lovely album Wonder Wheel. Please have a listen.
Mermaid Avenue

Keep fighting. Keep resisting. Keep reading. And let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend.

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The Book Booth: The House I Live In Edition

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Image: Vintage Labels
The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: The House I Live In Edition

Well, it happened and there is much to be done. I personally couldn't watch the train wreck live and have distracted myself with other things, like, oh, reading books and gearing up for the future.

With the new regime and its uneasy attitude to truth, the press, education, or what have you, we could use some books about how to handle the upcoming years. Derek Miller, the author of the new novel The Girl in Green, has some good suggestions he shared with Publishers Weekly.
What Do We Do Now?

During the past eight years, we have had a president who can actually read well, we had one that thrived on reading and reading from a wide range of interests and topics. Recently the New York Times book reviewer, Michiko Kakutani interviewed President Obama about the role books have played in his administration and what he has learned.
Michiko Kakutani Interviews President Obama About the Books in his Life.

And speaking of critics, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has announced the nominees for its awards which will culminate in a ceremony in March. Among the fiction writers honored are Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Ann Pratchett. Here's the full list of nominees.
NBCC Awards

PEN America, the organization founded in 1922 to defend free expression and persecuted writers, and which will have plenty to do in the next few years, also announced its nominees for best books of 2016. Some fifty authors have been selected in a variety of categories with winners announced in both February and later in March.
PEN's Best Books of 2017

Buzzfeed has kept itself busy of late and hasn't made a friend of the new imperial majesty in doing so. Still Buzzfeed does cover cultural news and book editor Jarry Lee has picked the 32 books she most looks forward to in the coming year.
Buzzfeed's Picks for Books to Read in 2017

But, wait! Buzzfeed also has ideas on decor with books! Here are some of their notions on how to display the books in your home. By the way, bookcases are still a pretty good way to do that.
And Where Will You Put All Those Books?

I've always loved bookplates. And now the University of British Columbia Library has digitized some vintage ones that are gorgeous. Allison Meyer at Hyperallergic.com has them for view here.
Vintage Bookplates

It's a tough week for many of us. But we must remember that this country belongs to us and we must remember what makes this nation great. And that would be its people. The House I Live In was written during the Second World War with music by Earl Robinson (who also wrote Joe Hill) and lyrics by Abel Meeorpol (who wrote Strange Fruit) and here sung by the amazing Paul Robeson with the original second stanza included.

Read and read some more. Have a fine weekend and please let us know what books are soothing your soul.

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